After lovingly staring at Joji Locatelli’s See You There cardigan for many weeks I took the plunge and bought the pattern.
This was my first time ordering yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills having seen their yarn on other people’s projects. I’d read positive things about their Luxury (100% wool) line and I was drawn to the big 200g (7oz) balls, supporting Australian yarn manufacturing, and the very reasonable prices. I debated over the colour – did I want to be neutral or bold (I love MinervaTurkey’s bright yellow See You There cardigan) – before settling on the colour “leaf” (green) which is more adventurous than a brown or grey and will pair well with dark jeans.
The Luxury yarn was easy to work with. From nearly 1,100metres/1,200 yards of yarn I only bumped in to one knot that had to be cut out. After a wash, the Luxury yarn plumped up and became lovely squishy softness.
I asked for a shade card with my order which I’ve been swooning over and I’m definitely ordering the yarn again for a large knitting project.
I wanted to knit this right so I swatched on the pattern’s recommended 4.5mm needles (the yarn suggests 5.0mm needles), washed and dried the swatch, and my gauge was off. I tried again with 4mm but it was still off, and I finally made gauge on 3.5mm.
My knitting seems to have become very loose since I started using my wooden circulars. Hmm!!
During swatching I also experimented with improving my back-and-forth knitting and found I get a more even tension on knit and purl rows by holding the yarn in different grips (looser for knit rows and tighter for purl rows). I didn’t manage it at all times but the rows look even enough after a wash.
The pattern was written well and I found it easy enough to follow. A few times I scratched my head in wonder but a few moments contemplating and I was back on my way.
I had to print out sections of the pattern so that I could scribble and cross-out as I went because there’s a lot of information. The pattern is written for many sizes so I went through highlighting which stitch counts were for my project. I also created a chart to help me keep track of the various cable patterns so I knew where I was up to – a more experienced knitter wouldn’t need it and halfway through the project my chart fell by the side but it helped in the beginning.
The first section (working from the neckline down) took a lot of time, possibly due to fear of messing it up, and the amount of concentration, but then the project began to flow. The button band was time-consuming to setup but I did it the slow way, attaching markers along sections to divide it up and calculating how many stitches per section, and it came out well (even if my rib is less than perfect but no one will be staring at it so close to notice).
The tops of the arms are loose but not so much that it’s a bother. I’m becoming more familiar with knitting tops so next time I’ll check arm measurements and combine sizes if I feel the need to.
My hood has turned out larger than the one in the pattern photos (I wish mine was a little bit smaller but not as small as the one in their photos) possibly due to the bulkiness of the yarn.
At the sides of the waist you can see the decreases and increases, perhaps more so than in the pattern photos, but I expect with wear they will become less obvious.
The faux seam on the sides and under the arms is a nice idea but with the bulkiness of my yarn I don’t know if it will ever show properly without precise blocking. I’d skip it next time.
I love love love this chunky textured cardigan. It’s going to go with me on my next trip to Finland :) I’m definitely thinking about knitting it a second time with adjustments to the cable patterns so it doesn’t look the same.
Resources to the rescue
I have a couple of basic knitting books that I reach for when I need a reminder about techniques I don’t use too often. The good ol’ Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook helped me with a cable cast-on.
I also had a few oops! moments with my cables and a few tutorials I read helped me recover cables going in the wrong direction and to cable without a cable needle to speed through the smaller cables quickly:
- All is not lost from Yarn Harlot
- The error of our ways: a knitter’s guide to fixing mistakes part 2 from Twist Collective
- Cabling without a cable needle from Knitting to Stay Sane
- Cabling without a cable needle – right-twist cable from Grumperina
Bring on the next one..
I’m now on the hunt for a chunky, classic jumper (pullover) pattern. I won’t be able to start it until March or April but I’m imagining a brown or grey warm squishy thing that will keep me cosy next winter. Or maybe I’ll be adventurous and go for a truly bold colour…
The Ravelry page for my See You There cardigan has a few more notes and photos as I worked through the project.